A plan that would have limited Colorado caregivers to just ten patients that would have cut off the supply of high-CBD oil to hundreds of epileptic and sick children in the state was killed by the state Board of Health yesterday.
Under Colorado law, medical cannabis patients have a right to grow their own supply, designated a dispensary to grow it for them or have their cannabis grown by a designated, private caregiver. Most caregivers in the state serve five patients, though waivers exist through the state health department for caregivers who want to serve more than five patients.
There are very few of those – only four, actually – but the state has called the system a “loophole” for people who would otherwise be paying to operate as a dispensary. In their minds, it was a bunch of growers faking it and selling the pounds of excess herb they had illegally though they’ve sold this as making sure caregivers are providing more than just medicine.
But one thing the Board of Health apparently didn’t consider is that they would be taking away the medicine almost exclusively from sick children. The four growers almost all predomoniantly grow high-CBD, low-THC strains that they then condense down to oil forms. The high plant counts make sense when all of it is going into concentrates.
Jason Cranford has been among the few high-profile, high-patient caregivers willing to testify. He said that the kids and families he cares for need his services. At one point the Board of Health suggested that patients and their families could grow their own supply and produce the oils themselves.
“These children are in wheelchairs,” he reminded the Board, according to CBS local news. “Do you not see this? Do you think they have time to sit in a garden?”
Cranford said that if the rule was adopted, he would ignore it and risk jail for the kids. Asking him and other caregivers to whittle down their patient list is akin to asking them to chose who lives or dies.
The Board also heard from angry mothers, upset at the idea of their children being denied the only treatment that has worked for them up to this point. Several of the moms speaking had moved here from out of state specifically because they could access the high-CBD oil here.
Patients aren’t out of the water yet, though. A recent ruling has also said that only parents of the children can be caregivers for their kids and past rulings have said that caregivers can not designate other caregivers to grow for the original patients. Dr. Larry Wolk, the head of the state health department who has been at the helm of the meddling in what was otherwise a functioning system admitted that the health department has no enforcement abilities and said that the whole thing is a confusing mess.